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BlackRat

Crime Prevention.........

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is it the norm to look inside a loco's body for identifying marks?

 

just wondering as this would require taking the loco apart as I don't have much space on which to mark N gauge locos etc

 

thinking of painting something onto the underside as an identifying mark

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Guest Max Stafford

Any marking is better than none. I'm told you can make you own smart water by taking out the inside of a security marker pen and dunking it into a container of water. The resulting solution when dry will react to a UV light.

 

I don't imagine that this will be best applied to your locos, but it's another option. An obscure, but distinctive mark under your items will also do - not many scrotes are going to look underneath a model for such things.

 

Top marks to Black Rat for bringing this subject up - I can only repeat that all his advice is excellent and well worth following.

 

Dave.

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The prob with UV pens is the fact that unfortunately, the ink can be removed.

 

On the inside of the loco, be it pen or label is ideal.

 

The main thing is for the Police to be able to identify your lost or stolen property.

 

Unless it is unique (and you have evidence that it is yours) or has a serial number etc the chances of getting anything back are slim.

 

So if we do recover any of your valuable items we know where to look and we can get them back to you.

 

Just inform us if you have the misfortune to suffer from a crime.

 

That info is then circulated, including the property office and should any come in, hopefully we can re-unite you.

 

If you are not looking to resell your stock, then you can 'engrave' your postcode etc with a pyrogravure, soldering iron or whatever underneath the model.

 

As MAx says, anything is better than nothing.

 

I cant tell you how much stuff we have, literally millions of pounds worth of recovered property that we cant return.

 

Fingers crossed it wont happen to you, but lets improve your chances of getting your stock back if it does.:P

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Guest baldrick25

Would an RFID tag be of any use ? They are cheap these days and could be slipped inside a model on the roof or somewhere just the thickness of a plastic case away, then perhaps as they would not be routinely scanned ( if stolen/found) the letters RFID either on a transfer or white paint or something discretely added to the underside of the model.

Keep a record of the RFID numbers in case they do get stolen. As I understand it most Police would have access to RFID readers in connection with 'lost' animals etc.

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If I may offer my input to this topic in my Professional capacity (I'm a trading Locksmith).

 

1) Check all your locks meet BS3621 as insurance companies can refuse payouts if your locks don't meet this standard.

2) On a front door don't rely solely on a nightlatch, also have a 5 lever mortice sash/deadlock. In the case of a UPVC door check that the lock barrel doesn't protrude more than 5mm from the handle casing.

3) If fitting padlocks to sheds and garages make sure they are of the armoured/shielded type (these cost a bit more than standard padlocks but they can't be bolt-cropped).

 

If anyone has any specific security questions they can contact a locksmith local to them who will always offer a no-obligation free survey to assess requirements or alternatively you can PM me and I'll answer your questions in confidence and privacy.

 

Kev

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A friend used a UV pen to put two lines round the axles of his stock in a certain position, photographed some examples of the axles through a UV filter (or something like that), plus photo's of all his stock and a database of his 'holdings', and sure enough they disappeared during a break-in - recovered and returned to him because of the bespoke markings, some damage, but insurance paid out - insurance that's another topic/minefield.

 

Of course a problem seems to arise when your 'place of theft' is in one police area and the items are recovered elsewhere,

hopefully the police are working towards a solution... :huh:

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Just a thought.........

 

What about using the motor-cycle data-tag which have micro-dots with a unique serial number for each pack! Sticks on with a UV solvent and the micro-dot can be read under a micro-scope!

 

HTH

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1. Get a UV pen (your Neighbourhood Team will be able to supply you) and write your post code and house number UNDERNEATH your items of stock.

 

2. Get a cheap labeller (Lidls this week for a few quid) and do same re postcode and place INSIDE loco bodies etc. They will sit nicely inside the roof space etc.

I've done the opposite and had property back quicker

 

The UV markings were placed on the chassis, hidden by the bodywork

For rolling stock it is hidden inside under the seat inserts or the underframe

Also, don't apply the UV marking on easily removed parts, like detachable fuel tanks, etc

 

A label is then placed visible underneath

This is primarily for exhibitions, making it easy to identify my own rolling stock quickly

 

The thief thought they had done enough by removing this label, but had not checked for the UV mark

I had to identify the model to get it back, which was easily done as I advised exactly where the UV mark should be

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i must admit, i have yet to do any of this, or taken any steps to this, i am thinking about now that i mostly build kits, sometimes these are costly, but often take alot of time to build, cant just go out and buy a replacment. so i shall give more thought into marking items some how, even if almost everything is a one off, just to make life easier.

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Re; Sheds

 

Check with your insurance company that any locks used on sheds meet with their requirements. For a valuable collection they would probably also want to know about its construction including the type of windows fitted.

 

Tagged micro dots can also be brushed onto your models.

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Tagged micro dots can also be brushed onto your models.

 

I like this idea, where can these be purchased?

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After reading Blackrat's post which all is very good advice my feelings are with Police numbers constantly being reduced, we have to start employing more intuitive and covert ways in foiling the scum that break into our properties stealing what we have worked hard for.

 

Two suggestions I have and which I am going to start using, one is bar code software to print off bar codes with either my post code or mobile phone number incorporated in them, using low tak labels I am going to apply them to every boxed model I have, this software which is free can be downloaded from here: http://www.softsea.c...e-Software.html

 

"Easy" I hear you say, if we have a bright thinking thief who identifies what has been done he can easily remove them, well yes that is so but also taking into consideration that if the thief was caught, the Police work has been made a little more easier by using stickers showing a post code on them along with UV pen markings etc.

 

However if my second suggestion is put into practice by slowing down the thief from moving goods on for quick cash has to be a good thing, as hopefully the thief would be waisting valuable time busy peeling off barcode stickers etc.

 

Using SMS trackers discreetly hidden in a collection could well improve the chance of locating and retrieving stolen goods, these gadgets are small and could quite easily be placed e.g. inside a donor controller that’s had its internals removed! I'm sure there are plenty of other places within a collection that could house these units.

 

Another bonus with using a SMS device and dare I say it, there runs a risk and temptation of not even bothering to contact the Police! :punish:

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Although not directly related to railway modelling in my instance, this may be relevant to anyone with a layout in a shed, or in fact, anyone with a shed!

 

Yesterday I discovered that someone had tried to break into my workshop (a 12'x8' heavy duty framed affair). Not by breaking a window (they done that in the past and they are all boarded up from the inside now) and not through the door. I was round the back end of the workshop and notice that one of the roof fascias was hanging off. As I nailed it back on, I then noticed two nails sticking up out of the roofing felt... It was at this point I realised someone had tried to lift/push/prise the bl**dy roof off!!

 

Luckily at certain points there are some hefty screws holding it together and they didn't get in, but there will be some reinforcing to the roof going on inside very very shortly! I'm still gobsmacked that someone tried to enter the workshop in that way. I have another shed for garden tools under construction and I won't be using any nails, it will all be screwed firmly together!

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Speaking of break ins, I think everyone here will probably agree with me that this is thoroughly deserved.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyyZ0Zb6b_o&feature=BFa&list=PL89A06CC603FBF52B

 

I will go and get a couple of security pens on Thursday, one to mark stuff with and one to make some smart water with.

 

[/evilsenseofhumour]

Edited by The Evil Bus Driver
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In addition to the great advice above, can I also make a recommendation for the Immobilise register: www.immobilise.com?

 

Although the name suggests it's only for mobile phones, Immobilise can in fact be used to register details of ANY valuable item and it doesn't necessarily have to have a serial number. Computers, cameras, MP3 players, pads/tablets, cycles and yes, even model railway equipment can all be registered.

 

There are several advantages to using Immobilise

  • It's FREE!! (so no need to worry about expensive solutions).
  • It's supported and checked by most (if not all) UK police forces and insurance companies.
  • If you are unfortunate enough to be a victim of burglary, robbery or theft; you, the police and your insurance company have an immediately available record of your stolen items - it makes the whole crime recording process that little bit quicker and less painful.
  • You can upload pictures, scans of till receipts etc. - all of which aid both the investigation and any insurance claim.
  • You can include details of unique identifying marks (super detailing, weathering, broken/missing/repaired areas are all good examples)
  • The information is all stored centrally - handy if your computer or other record is stolen in the same incident.
  • You can bulk upload multiple items using a spreadsheet.
  • If your property is lost or stolen in one force area and recovered in another, having your property on Immobilise improves your chances of being reunited with your goods. Remember, many of us have spent time and money building or improving our models which will never be reflected in any insurance payout.
  • If the police can link recovered property back to a victim and an incident, it improves their chances of a conviction and hopefully the scrote (some terms are universal!) will be taken out of circulation. In most cases, forces know who the thieves are and actively target them. As Black Rat pointed out though, if they can't prove something is stolen, there's little chance of getting a conviction - even if it's pretty obvious to everyone the goods are bent.

Don't forget, this time of year usually sees a peak in burglary offences and can provide rich pickings for the criminal.

  • Lock up and leave a light on when you go out and don't forget to double lock uPVC doors.
  • If you're Christmas shopping, (or shopping at an exhibition!), don't leave your purchases on display and keep your valuables out of sight. If you used a Sat Nav to get there, put it away and wipe your windscreen to remove the tell-tale sucker ring on the inside.
  • If you've just made a high value purchase, be wary of leaving the box on full view for the binmen - it's also a great advert to the prospective burglar.

Much of this advice may seem obvious, but it's suprising how many otherwise well-informed people can overlook this sort of thing.

 

Andy

Edited by 5 C
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Another thing I've mentioned in the past, is that if you have your layout somewhere clearly identifiable, take care which photos you post on here or the internet in general.

 

To reiterate, Crime Prevention/Reduction/whatever they are called now officers/advisers are a very good source of information and advice. The two I've known at work have been retired long serving officers with the experience of how crims get in as well as what they do with their ill gotten gains. And they like a cup of tea and a biscuit, so they'd be likely to come round and have a look as well.

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If you used a Sat Nav to get there, put it away and wipe your windscreen to remove the tell-tale sucker ring on the inside.

 

Some satnavs have a 'get me home' feature (such as my Garmin). It is worth checking that your home address isn't saved into it. Mine is set to a random location in a nearby village.

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Mine is set to a random location in a nearby village.

 

That must be incredibly embarrassing when you attempt to enter their house with your keys, or simply walk in unexpected.

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Some satnavs have a 'get me home' feature (such as my Garmin). It is worth checking that your home address isn't saved into it. Mine is set to a random location in a nearby village.

I put my "home" address in by post code further up the road, or if the specific sat-nav requires a house number, put in a number 20 odd house down. It's near enough to get accurate travel times and traffic info for journey homes but not to identify my actual home address.

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I use the address of my local Police Station.

It's not fair to use someone else's home address. I believe it was in Australia where some perps murdered an innocent home owner because the "dealer" they were after used his address on his car navigator. He lived a a couple of doors down.

 

Best, Pete.

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I went round the side of my house last night to shut the gate because the dog got out.  And I saw clearly visible through the basement window, my railway with about £2000 of stock sitting there.  Saying that, there's not much scope here for stuff to get sold on, and if any is found, they'd ask me first.

 

Edited to add that I will now be locking the side gate and fitting some obscuring mesh over the window - I need the light, but I'd like to be secure as well.

 

I like the idea of using your local Police Station as get me home.  I think that's a good enough idea that it should be suggested to Sat Nav programmers as an option.

Edited by Bomp

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I completely agree, using a UV marker pen is pointless now
I use microdots
They are intended for vehicles, but the batch all have the same unique code
They can very easily be applied to N gauge stock
For some items you need to apply one to the chassis and another to the body, as they can be separated


Equally, unlike a UV marker, where you usually put the house number and postcode, the microdots do not need to be changed when moving house

A bottle is about £15 and can easily be applied to anything and everything in your home
The same with a TV, it is advisable to apply several microdots, as such items can be stripped and/or broken
Once applied the microdot can be made easier to identify by covering in UV paint (also included in the larger pack)

Edited by mjkerr

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